What is Pea Gravel and Should You Use It?

pea gravel

More and more people are jumping into the DIY bandwagon, especially when it comes to landscaping and gardening. It’s probably easier than it sounds, but it isn’t impossible. All it takes is getting to know your style and the materials you can use to get the home landscape of your dreams. When it comes to landscaping, pea gravel is something you should know and use. It’s one of the most versatile and affordable materials easily available to anyone.

What is pea gravel

Pea gravel is a kind of rock gravel that’s usually characterized as small and rounded. They are basically pebbles that have both aesthetic and functional uses. Pea gravel can be found in many kinds of landscapes and for various uses. They are durable, easy to maintain, and also comes in a variety of colors depending on the parent rock material they come from. The main difference between pea gravel and other types of gravel is the surface finish of each rock. Instead of being jagged and chipped, the pebbles are naturally smoothed. Not only does this make pea gravel easier on the eyes but easier to touch and walk on as well.

Uses of pea gravel

There are many ways you can use pea gravel for your home. They can be useful both indoors and outdoors. Here are some of the best uses for pea gravel.

Gravel patio/hardscaping

Sometimes you might just need a surface area outdoors that doesn’t have sod or grass. It’s perfect for lounging or even eating spaces. The use of pea gravel as the main surface material for a gravel patio works because you don’t have to deal with using and maintaining cement, pavers, or the like. Pea gravel is easy to spread around and even out, and it’s also pretty easy to keep clean. Pea gravel drains water really well, so you wouldn’t have to deal with water pooling in your patio.

Xeriscaping mulch

Xeriscaping is a kind of landscaping that involves minimal or little irrigation. Pea gravel is often used in xeriscapes because it often complements the aesthetic of most xeriscape designs. Pea gravel is also useful in maintaining lines and boundaries between various plant types and areas while keeping everything looking organic. Pea gravel also happens to suppress the growth of various weeds, so that’s even less maintenance work for you to do.


Should you use pea gravel for your driveway? Absolutely. The many benefits of pea gravel work on driveways as well. However, you can’t just use pea gravel on an entire driveway. You’ll need some base support in order have a properly working driveway. This is especially important if you have heavier vehicles such as trucks and SUVs. A good structural base layer for a driveway would be compacted crushed rocks and stone dust. Base layers should be at the very minimum 4 inches deep and up to 12 inches if you will have heavier vehicles on it all the time. The pea gravel will then act as a top layer to the driveway.


There’s nothing like a stroll on a gravel walkway. It’s absolutely noticeable if you were walking on a path that’s not filled with pea gravel. Pea gravel makes walking easier on your feet and legs. Pea gravel walkways tend to stay dry even after some rain. They’re easy to shape into any path design you wish to have, especially if the path includes curved turns. Because pea gravel is easier to replace than pavers or concrete, it’s a great option for those that tend to switch up their landscaping often.

Flower garden

Flower gardens are beautiful components of any landscapes. Pea gravel can be used in flower gardens to add separation, small paths, or simply as a decorative component. Because pea gravel comes in neutral colors, it provides a neutral backdrop for your flowers to pop against. They also help keep weeds away and help your plant areas stay well-drained. Pea gravel is also often used as a reservoir for garden areas where drainage is a problem. It keeps your plants healthy by allowing roots to have access to oxygen beneath the garden.

Potted plants

Lastly, pea gravel are great for potted plants. You can use them for both indoor or outdoor plants. At the very least, they can be used as decorative toppers for soil on potted plants. They keep potted plants looking tidy and organized. In addition, pea gravel can be used as drainage help for many potted plants that don’t require constantly moistened soil. A single layer of pea gravel at the bottom of any pot offers enough drainage so that plants don’t drown.

Cost of pea gravel

It’s important to properly measure your project out before you start buying pea gravel. As with anything, you wouldn’t want to buy more than you need. However, you also want to keep your project uniform, so buying less could become a problem if your store ends up running out of stock after your initial purchase. There are many ways you can purchase pea gravel by. You can buy in bulk or not. If you don’t wish to buy in bulk or if your project is small enough, you can buy bags of pea gravel at roughly $3-$6 per bag depending on the type and your location. You should expect that higher quality pea gravel might cost more. On average, you could spend anywhere from $300 to $400 on a 200-square foot project. You can find and purchase pea gravel bags at your local home improvement stores. You can also purchase pea gravel by the yard, especially for bigger projects. You’ll save a little bit in money and time because large quantity distributors normally sell at a discounted price. The more you buy, the cheaper pea gravel becomes. You should also consider the costs of transporting the gravel and professional installation. Pea gravel isn’t too difficult to use and install, but it’s always better to be sure than be sorry later on.

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